Assigning letter grades in D2L & importing into PAWS

Moving grades automatically from D2L to PAWS can save instructors time and effort.  There are four basic steps:

  1. Create a grade scheme in D2L to translate percentage scores to letter grades.
  2. Apply the grade scheme to your D2L final grades.
  3. Export the letter grades out of D2L.
  4. Import the letter grades into PAWS for review and final approval.  After importing the grades into PAWS, you must still review and approve final grades in PAWS, as always. More information about PAWS and grading is available at the Registrar’s Office website “Instructor Grading.”

Here are some suggestions and precautions:

  • Start early! That way, you will have plenty of time to adjust your grade scheme or get help in case something goes amiss!
  • Use a hard-wired connection to the internet — NOT WIRELESS — to avoid data transmission problems.
  • Export your entire gradebook from D2L to an Excel file on your desktop before you begin. This has nothing to do with eGrading: it’s just a safety precaution.
  • If you’ve followed all the steps, but things don’t seem right, check out our instructions for Troubleshooting eGrading.
  • Finally, if you need help, please be sure to contact the LTC!

Step 1. Create a grade scheme in D2L

  1. From your Course Home page, click [Grades] on the main navigation bar
  2.  Click [Schemes] and then [New Scheme]
  3. Type a Name for your grade scheme
  4. Type letter grades in the Symbol column of the Ranges table; begin with “F” in row 1
  5. Type “D-” and “D” in the next two rows, and fill in the corresponding percentages
  6. Click [Save]
  7. To add the rows for the remaining letter grade symbols, type “9” (or desired number of fields) in the Add Ranges box and click the green + sign (see table below).
  8. Fill in the remaining letter grades and percentages.  Since D2L does not round scores to the nearest integer, best practice is to drop the starting score for a letter grade by 1/2 a percentage point.
  9. Click [Save] when done.
  10. Note that D2L Grade Schemes do NOT round off grades.
  11. The above example assumes 60% is passing, but grants students with 59.5 the D-.
  12. Display all decimal places in the gradebook at the end of the semester when you’re actually calculating grades.
  13. Click [Grades], then [Settings], then the [Org Unit Display Options] tab.
  14. Type “5” in the “Number of decimal places to display” boxes, then click [Save].
  15. While in the then [Settings] area, click [Calculation Options].
  16. Under Final Grade Released, ensure that [Adjusted Final Grade] is selected.
  17. Click Close.

Step 2. Apply grade scheme to D2L final grades 

  1. Click [Grades], then [Manage Grades].
  2. Click on the title of the [Final Adjusted Grade] item at the bottom of the list.
  3. Under “Grading,” use the dropdown list to select your grade scheme.  Click [Save and Close].  You should be back in the Manage Grades page.  If not, click [Grades], then [Manage Grades] again.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow next to [Final Adjusted Grade] and select [Enter Grades] (the ruler and checkmark icon).
  5. In the Final Grades page that appears, click the drop-down arrow next to [Final Grades], and select [Recalculate All].
  6. In the popup window, select [Final Calculated Grade] and click [Calculate].  (*Please note: Although we highly recommend against it, if “Automatically keep final grades updated” is already checked under the [Calculated Options] tab in [Settings], step# 6 will not show as an option. If this is the case, please proceed directly to step# 8. **Additional note: When setting up future Gradebooks, do not select the “Automatically keep final grades updated” option. The constant recalculation of final grades can overload and halt the D2L system.)
  7. In the next popup, click [Calculate] again, read the warning and click [Yes] to agree.
  8. Click the drop-down arrow next to [Final Grades], and select [Transfer All] and then [Yes] in the confirmation popup window.
  9. Under “Final Adjusted Grade” you should see scores and a letter grade for each student.  Click [Save].

Suggestions and precautions:

In huge classes displayed over multiple pages, the above steps must be repeated for each page. Double check to ensure that grades have been calculated for all students.

  • If you get an error message when calculating final grades, the D2L server is probably having trouble managing its resources. It is best to calculate final grades outside peak D2L usage daytime hours. Wait a while and try again, or try before 8 a.m. / after 4 p.m.
  • By default, the D2L final grade columns are not revealed to your students. Best practice is not to display final grades in D2L to students since they will be seeing them in PAWS soon anyway.  And the delay might be useful in the event that you want to make any last-minute adjustments.  If you wish to display the D2L final grades to your students, click on the dropdown arrow next to [Final Grades] and select [Release All].

If you have any problems with the D2L portion of this process, please email the UWM Learning Technology Center (LTC

Step 3. Export letter grades from D2L

Before you begin:

  • Check to make sure you have applied your letter Grade Scheme to the Final Adjusted Grade.  To do this, in [Grades], click [Manage Grades] and click on the title of the [Final Adjusted Grade] item at the bottom of the list.  Under “Grading,” ensure that your grade scheme has been selected.  Click [Save and Close].
  • Check to make sure the “Final Grade Released” setting are correct.  To do this, in [Grades], click [Settings] (the small link under Edit Course or Logout at the upper right side of the Grades screen) and then click Calculation Options. Under “Final Grade Released” select Adjusted Final Grade.  Click Close.
  1. Click [Grades], and then click [Export to SIS].
  2. Click [Yes] and [OK] in the popups
  3. Look for an e-mail (in PantherLink) addressed to your UWM email account within 15-20 minutes, signaling that your grades are ready for import into PAWS

Step 4. Import letter grades into PAWS

Log into PAWS (

  1. Click [Self Service]
  2. Under “Faculty Center,” click on [Grade Roster]
  3. OPTIONAL: If necessary, click [Change Class] to select the appropriate class –or– click [Change Term] to select the appropriate term.
  4. Next, scroll to the bottom of the Grade Roster and click on the light-colored button to [Import D2L Grades].
  5. Grades will appear.  If grades do not appear, please see our Troubleshooting Guide.

Whether or not eGrading is used, instructors will need to manually address the following in PAWS:

  • Resolve error messages for students in PAWS who are not  assigned a grade in D2L
  • For each “F”, add a number from 0-15 to indicate the last week the student attended
  • Assign “I” to students receiving an incomplete and an “S” or “U” to auditing students
  • Note that students enrolled in D2L but not in your PAWS roster will be ignored during grade import.

When finished making manual changes in PAWS, select Approved and submit the grades.

Note: PAWS is does not give clear, immediate feedback when grades have successfully submitted.  In order to get confirmation, you can log back into PAWS to check the grade listing.  If the grade boxes are not editable, and the “Approval Status” above the gradebook says “Approved,” the grades have been successfully submitted.

If you have further questions about PAWS grade submissions, please contact the Registrar’s Office (see below).



If you have any problems with the PAWS portion of this process, please contact the Registrar’s Office:

More information about instructor grading at UWM is available at the Registrar’s Office website, “Instructor Grading” .

To print this tutorial, click Ctrl-A to select the document, then click [File] and then [Print].  Choose [Selection,] then [OK] and proceed to print.

D2L 10.3 updated December 2014